Save the next generation - say NO to toxic waste incineration!

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I object to the proposed toxic waste incinerator plant at Whistleberry Road.  This petition will go to the planning department at South Lanarkshire Council, to let them know that Blantyre opposes this planned development.  Blantyre opposes it because:

Visual impact - The proposed 90-95m stack is almost 4 times the height of the chimney stack proposed in the 2013 submission by the proposer, Clean Power Properties (CPP) – and is 1.5 times higher than the Hamilton County Buildings.  This would dominate the skyline.  A polluting chimney would send a message to visitors and residents that is very much in conflict with the environmental policies of South Lanarkshire council.

Associated historical site impact - Bothwell Bridge is a Grade A Listed Historic Site, and this chimney will dominate the skyline above it. Historic Scotland should be asked to rule on this proposal.

Proximity to Residential Accommodation - The proposed development is located very close to housing in Whitehill, and even closer to the caravan-based accommodation which is home to those who run the very successful M&D’s “Scotland’s Theme Park” at Strathclyde Park, a major local tourist draw.  Additionally, there will be clear line of sight from the Bothwell Conservation Area to the massive chimney.

Proximity to Food Producers - The presence of food producers e.g. Dunns Food and Drink in Blantyre, Lightbody’s in Hamilton and several food producers near Bellshill are all within the pollution “drop zone”.  There is potential, then, for dioxins from the CPP incinerator to enter the human food chain, which could be exacerbated by illegal plan operation as was the case at the now closed-down Scotgen incinerator plant in Dumfries (as referenced above).

Proximity to Consumer Retail Businesses - The proposed development is located very close to car retail operations, the Audi and Mazda/Ford garages, and food stores Lidl and FarmFoods.  The presence of a waste processing facility, huge chimney and potential for odour will chase customers away from these key local employers, impacting their viability.

Risk of Cancer and Birth Defects -  Large epidemiological studies have shown higher rates of adult and childhood cancers and of birth defects around incinerators. 

Risk of Heart Disease - Recent research has confirmed that particulate pollution, especially the fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution, which is typical of incinerator emissions, is an important contributor to heart disease, lung cancer, and an assortment of other diseases, and causes a linear increase in mortality. Particulates from incinerators will be especially hazardous due to the toxic chemicals attached to them.

No Proof of Previous Operation - The proposer, CPP, does not provide evidence of previous safe operation of the exact same technology as contained in their proposal from their existing facilities. It also appears from their web site that they have, at present, no operational sites across the UK (all being in planning/preparation stage)  Blantyre does not want to be an experiment of new and unproven incineration technology by an inexperienced operator!

No commitment to "Fail Safe" operation - The proposal does not commit to “Fail Safe” operation, relying rather on “Best Available Techniques” or “BAT”.   As other incinerator installations have shown, errors can occur, spewing carcinogens, dioxins and pollution over a wide area – the Dumfries Scotgen incinerator had 200 emission violations and was eventually shut down by environmental agency SEPA. Any proposal should be fully “fail safe” and guarantee no chance of error leading to accidental dioxin pollution of the South Lanarkshire area.

No Fail Safe process to deal with Fly Ash and other by-products - Modern incinerators produce “fly ash” which is hugely toxic than in the past, containing large quantities of dioxin-rich (carcinogenic) material for which there is no safe method of disposal. The proposal does not outline a fail safe disposal process for this material.  For example, it is possible that fly ash will be deposited in the local community by trucks and employee cars that leave the incinerator facility.

Wheel Ash - Another example of lack of “fail-safe” operation in the CPP proposal is the proposed Wheel Wash.  Incineration does not remove waste. It simply converts it into another form (gas, particulates, ash). There is a real risk that these waste by-products will find their way into the local environment.  For example, it would be easy for a departing driver to forget to have his wheels washed or an employee car to leave unwashed. Also, how will this facility operate in prolonged winter conditions? Unlike plants in southern Scotland and England, in Lanarkshire we do at times have severe winters, with multi-day and multi-week periods of sub-zero temperatures (e.g. minus 15 in 2009/2010).  There is, therefore, no proposal for fail-safe operation in the CPP proposal to ensure only clear vehicles return to public roads.

Traffic load - the CPP proposal contains impact assessment for normal road operations.  What will happen in the case of a large scale accident, or icy conditions, which results in the Raith interchanged being blocked for a significant period?  Will we have dirty, waste-carrying vehicles using the main streets in Blantyre and Burnbank?  Will we have these vehicles travelling up the windy and already dangerous Blantyre farm road?  This again shows that the CPP proposal has not outlined contingency plans, and has not designed in “fail-safe” operation.